Leader's Weekend 2019 was a HUGE success. With 20 people in attendance over 3 days we all walked away renewed and ready to jump into 2019. Here's what one of our volunteers Jess had to say about the experience.
"I had the privilege of attending the 2019 leaders weekend, an opportunity that sparked refreshed passion for the ERCSA organisation. This past weekend, spent with like-minded people, certainly grounded me as to my place within this community. I could not have asked for a more wonderful group of people to lead alongside (quality banter also) as well as share a reflective space with. The sessions were well thought out and encouraged each leader to step out their comfort zone even in the presence of their peers. This included our Executive Officer, Jess Alikaris who we could not be more grateful and proud to have in the organisation. On Sunday the dynamic changed into a more creative space where the leaders were shown more of the BTS aspect of ERCSA. We were able to develop our own ideas and make a contribution to the more technical aspects of running these wonderful camps. Leaders Weekend ignited a fire in all of us. For me, I can’t wait to continue this journey, with my community, in creating the magic that is Edmund Rice Camps South Australia."
Thank you to everyone who contributed to make the weekend so special.
I am thrilled to announce that Stefan Curran has been appointed as our new Program and Administration Officer.
Stefan has a long and valued history with ERCSA and has been an incredibly dedicated member of our community for past 6 years both as a volunteer and in various short term paid casual roles. Over the past few months Stefan has played an integral part in the success of our 2019 Summer Camps season.
Stefan offers stability, experience, and initiative, and I am keen to see him continue the momentum from January in using his knowledge to capacity build others, ultimately working toward a thriving community once again.
Stefan will be in the office on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. His primary focus will be on the planning and development of programs, Volunteer engagement, and the delivery and evaluation of programs. We are still working to get him set up with his own email address so bear with us while we sort things out over the next few days.
Please join me in welcoming Stefan and wishing him all the best in this new role. Stefan’s willingness to contribute to ERCSA in this capacity is a real testament both to his commitment, and to the impactful work that we do.
Last month we had two very successful Amazon Adventure summer camps. During the week of the Older Kids camp we were delighted to have a visit from one of the board members Filip Puccini. Here is his reflection about what he experiences:
“At the camp, I witnessed youthful enthusiasm, uninhibited fun, noise, and laughter. A united group in their experience...The camp experience makes you realise that youth is a special time, and childhood maybe more important. One’s childhood shapes them for many years to come. The impact of our volunteering helps us to make an impact on someone’s life that may last many years. In fact, the benefit (to the children and us) may not be realised within ourselves for years to come...
A leader’s time in ERC is a chance to be surrounded by quality people, and to make lasting friendships. It is a time to give time to something for the greater good and to enjoy yourself along the way.”
Amongst our SA leaders on the Younger Kids camp we were greeted with a visit from Isaiah from Tasmania.
"With open hands, and I felt at home with this bunch of Eddie Ricers. The week was just incredible, and I learnt so much from both the other inspiring leaders and the amazing kids that I spent time with. Of course the magic of Eddie Rice surrounded all the volunteers and participants throughout the week.
Being in a different state, there were differences in the camp experience in South Australia to Tasmania, and it was very interesting to see all these throughout the week. One specific activity that I enjoyed that I hadn’t done before was candle sharing, where all of the camp come together in a nice reflective space and pass a candle around. It was just incredibly beautiful to see that all our hard work was making a difference. Although there differences in the camp experience, it was easy to see that all Eddie Ricers, no matter where they are from, were there for the same reason; to make the world a better place.
I truly am very grateful to have had this experience I have gained so much from this opportunity and feel as through I’ve grown as a leader because of it. I definitely hope to go back sometime soon and see all the familiar faces, and also to do even more camps abroad."
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of both camps it was special for everyone involved!
Congratulations to our 2018 Volunteer award recipients:
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR - STEFAN
The Edmund Rice Camps SA Volunteer of the Year Award is an initiative developed to recognise and celebrate volunteer effort within our community. The award recognises and honours a single volunteer each year through a peer nomination process.
Stefan has proved himself to be an integral part of our community in 2018. His commitment to ERCSA both on camp and behind the scenes is admirable, and his unwavering passion and dedication to the cause makes him a very valued part of our community.
RISING STAR - TAYAH
The Edmund Rice Camps SA Rising Star Award aims to recognise one volunteer who has started their volunteering journey with ERCSA within the last 12 months, who has shown considerable leadership potential and who has made an impression on those around them including both participants and volunteers. This award also takes into account their commitment to our mission, their compassion and their presence on our programs.
Tayah joined us in early 2018 and after a memorable start to the year she has shown herself to be an enthusiastic and engaging leader. Tayah’s vibrant personality and immense dedication to the Edmund Rice ethos has made a welcomed impression on our community.
FIRE CARRIER - ALEX
The Edmund Rice Camps SA Fire Carrier Award aims to recognise one volunteer who has perpetuated the values of Edmund Rice and his spirit within the organisation within the last 12 months. This person would have shown considerable presence, liberation, and compassion in working with those around them including both participants and volunteers on our programs.
Alex is passionate about the core values of ERCSA and the power of positive relationships. Alex reflects the ERCSA spirit by supporting those we serve, and is also very thoughtful when it comes to empowering everyone to rise together. Alex is a very kind and considered supporting presence to all on camp.
It is with mixed feelings that I wish to announce that Adrian Szabo will be leaving his positon as Volunteer Support Worker here at ERCSA. A feeling of sadness to see him go, and yet happiness to see where the Spirit will take him into 2019 and beyond.
Adrian joined ERCSA as a volunteer in 2013 and has been an integral part of the organisation since then. In 2017 Adrian took on the role of Volunteer Support Worker, and has worked to continue to be a valuable member of our community in this role.
Adrian’s outgoing personality (and interesting choice in shirts!) has helped to create a welcoming environment for all. His contributions and presence both as a volunteer and staff member will be missed.
I have no doubt that wherever Adrian takes himself next he will continue to prove himself as a passionate, dedicated member of that organisation. I also have no doubt that we will see Adrian back at ERCSA in some capacity in the future.
I am sure that many of you will want to take the opportunity to thank Adrian for his time and wish him well. Adrian’s last day will be Monday 17th December and we will be organising a farewell for this day, which we will send you the details of shorty.
If you are unable to attend the farewell, please feel free to send Adrian a quick email, I am sure he would appreciate hearing from you.
On a personal note, I would like to formally thank Adrian for the time that we have shared together over the past few years. The highs, the lows, and everything in between are memories that I will forever treasure. The interesting choice in shirts I probably won’t miss as much!
Looking forward to celebrating Adrian’s time with ERCSA on Monday 17th December.
Again, on behalf of ERCSA I would like to wish Adrian all the best. It’s not goodbye, it’s see you soon.
Vic has been a volunteer with us for a little under a year and is an absolute super star!
Here's a bit of her ERCSA journey.
Why did you start volunteering with camps? (What/who motivated you?
I was introduced to ERCSA in high school. A few friends used to volunteer in January and always seemed to have a great time and return for more. When I started uni I began volunteering at a school tutoring program for refugees and helped out on another organisation's kids camp. When in second year, my friend suggested we give ERCSA a go I was keen to jump on board after years of intending to do so. I had really enjoyed working with kids who needed a bit of a leg-up, and after the Summer Camps Launch in December 2017, ERCSA seemed like a great opportunity to continue doing that. On reflection, it's exceeded all expectations and I plan to volunteer on many future camps.
What is your favourite memory from your ERCSA journey?
On the April weekend camp earlier this year, a few local high school students hosted a football clinic. At one point I was helping on the 'goal kicking' station and noticed one of the quieter boys pick up a ball. From the looks of things, he had never had the opportunity to practice footy skills, but before long a group of volunteers and campers were encouraging him as he learnt to kick. I will never forget the smile on his face as the ball crossed the goal line. While only a short moment in the scheme of things, it's memories like this that make it all worth it.
What has being an ERCSA volunteer done for you?
The thing I love about ERCSA is how it not only focuses on supporting the kids, but also the volunteers. Working with the campers is no doubt the main reason us volunteers are present, and working with them is certainly one of the most rewarding aspects. However, I really enjoy how all the volunteers get opportunities to reflect along the way. It helps me grow as a person but equally helps us support one another and form close friendships. Collectively, we become better volunteers to best support the kids. If you've ever thought about joining us on a camp and hesitated, I would highly recommend! Yes, you may face challenges and require a full day to catch up on sleep post-camp. But, it is one of the most welcoming and rewarding experiences on record and I would have started earlier if I had known just how good they would be!
Nominate volunteers that you've seen or know have gone above and beyond for ERCSA in the past year!
This year we will also have a bunch of silly awards to give away - more on this to come!
To vote click here!
Last month we had another successful Family Camp! Here's what one of the families who attended had to say:
"I can't remember the last time I felt so relaxed and reassured that my kids where in safe hands. Yes, they do go to camps with Edmund Rice, and I have the opportunity to have a break, but it is always on my mind, the kids and if they are safe. This gave me the opportunity to be as close as possible but able to be freed of the responsibility and it gave me an optimum level of relax and peace that I cannot get when they go alone. I really hope that you are able to run any more camps like this, it's perfect for parents who are nervous about leaving their children in others care, particularly immigrants and those who have experienced trauma and post-traumatic stress, such as myself. I hope that we may qualify to attend again, we get very little fun holidays, money is a big problem, and I haven't got family support so even if I could afford a holiday, it would be difficult for me to manage, enjoy, without support. I am so grateful, every single person who facilitated the camp was beyond delightful, how is it possible that so many young people could be so extraordinary in one space, designed to serve my family? I feel so blessed xxx"
Our volunteers also had an amazing experience.
"Love, trust and care is what it means to be family. Each participant and leader felt safe and supported to be the their true self; which made us feel as if we were part of one big Edmund Rice family. The guardians were given the opportunity to finally step back and focus on themselves for the one weekend, while they knew their children were in safe hands. Being able to bond with each other, and finding out they share common struggles and triumphs was a truly unique experience that they’ll probably never forget. Each individual on camp should be proud of the person they are and the impact they’ve had on each other’s lives."
"Wow! What an experience. Family Camps have a unique tendency to capture the both the hearts and minds of everyone involved, and this one was no exception. The superb administration provided by the PC’s and CC’s on this most recent camp created the ideal setting for personal growth and enjoyment. Loved it!"
Thank you to everyone who helped make the weekend so special!
The Edmund Rice Camps (SA) Board is excited to announce the appointment of our new Executive Officer - Jessica Alikaris!
Following a thorough interview process, the panel were unanimous in their recommendation of Jess for the role.
On a personal level, I have been working quite closely with Jess over the past couple of years. During this time, I have seen her grow and evolve into an outstanding leader. In addition to her exceptional organisational skills, professionalism and attention to detail, Jess is a person of integrity who values relationships deeply and always puts others before herself. Jess has also been involved in numerous formation opportunities and has a strong sense of the Edmund Rice charism which is at the very heart of our mission.
I hope you will all agree, these are all attributes that bode well for the future.
So, please join me in congratulating Jess. We are blessed to have her leading Edmund Rice Camps (SA) into the next exciting phase of our future.
Exciting news! We're having a BBQ fundraiser at Bunnings Warehouse Windsor Gardens on Sunday October 7. Come visit us from 9AM until 4:30PM and show your support by grabbing a snag for camps!
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